They all jump, and you suddenly find yourself in the middle of a flowery field full of farms filled with floral fauna. The farms are made of vines and flowers, with plant-like animals grazing the fields like livestock. They are being tended by small, human-like creatures with wings. They must be faeries.
One of the faeries spots you and flies toward you.
“Greetings, human. It’s rare to see one of your kind here. Are you seeking someone?”
You ask to meet the leader of the faerie colony. The fairy points at a large flower-shaped house nearby.
“The one you seek is there. Please mind your manners.”
The fairy flies away and goes back to tending its flock. You walk towards the flower mansion. It’s about as tall as you, and you stare at it for a moment, wondering how to get inside and how you are going to fit in. The mansion suddenly blooms, revealing a sharply-dressed fairy sitting at an ornate desk. They are petting a tiny flower that meows like a cat. They are flanked by two intimidating faeries in formal clothing.
The fairy at the desk beckons you to speak. You introduce yourself and talk about the mycellites’ wish to walk freely around the forest. The fairy raises its hand slightly, signaling that you should stop talking.
“Now you come to me and say Donna Carnation give me justice. But you don’t ask with respect. You don’t offer friendship. You don’t even think to call me Fairy Godmother. Instead, you come into my home on the day of the harvest festival, and you ask me to let the mycellites roam the forest unprotected.”
You remember that the mycellites must listen to any requests when asked nicely. You explain to the Fairy Godmother the culture of the mycellites and ask her if she was aware of this.
“I did not know this. I just asked them for their help with transporting our harvest and ended my request by saying, ‘Please.’ I do not wish for the mycellites to be bound to us out of duty. They are free spirits that deserve respect as much as they respect my people. Inform them that they are not bound to us, and we just wish to live in harmony with them. We only ask that they assist us if they are able and that we will protect them with our lives for their generosity. Anyone that wishes harm to the mycellites will find themselves swimming with the goldfish…”
You stare blankly in response to that very ominous phrase.
The Fairy Godmother notices your confusion.
“You misunderstand. I mean no harm to anyone. We have a getaway resort near a lake where individuals can swim with our therapy goldfish to teach them that violence is not the answer. In order to understand ourselves, one must first live in harmony with nature.”
You stare blankly in response to that unusually profound saying.
The Fairy Godmother notices your blank stare.
“Our business is concluded. I thank you for your explanation and understanding. You are now an honorary member of our family. Call upon us when you need us and one day, I’ll call upon you to do a service for me.”
The flower mansion closes, and you walk away, wondering if you should feel relieved that it went better than expected or afraid that a “service” will be asked of you in the future. You look around the field and spot more red and white mushrooms and walk towards them. When you approach, the mycellites pop out of the ground and hobble toward you. They hold hands and form a circle around you. They jump in unison, and you find yourself in the middle of the Shaded Woods near the mycellites you saw earlier.
One of the mycellites spots you and asks you about what happened. You explain the misunderstanding and tell them they are free to roam the forest under the protection of the faeries.
“You have saved us from eternal confusion and for that, we are grateful. To repay you, we shall provide you with a ration of edible mushrooms for your journey and show you how to harvest more so you shall never starve. We shall also teleport you to the outside of the Shaded Woods, so you are closer to your destination. We thank you, oh Great Fleshy One. Our civilization will sing songs of your heroism today.” They all bow at you in unison, which is both endearing and sort of weird.
A few mycellites hand you a bag of mushrooms, and another tells you about the difference between safe and unsafe mushrooms. The words “Mushroom Gathering Skill Unlocked” and “Charisma +3” pop up in your mind, but you wave them off as confusion caused by a bad mushroom you just ate that got mixed in the bag.
You thank your new followers and they form a ring around you. They jump in unison, and you find yourself outside of the woods and back en route to Castor.
You look at the rooster, and you both wonder if that whole series of events actually happened or if you were so hungry that you dreamed it up from eating a weird mushroom you picked up at some point in the forest. Neither of you dwells on it much. You take a bite out of a mushroom from your bag and continue on your journey, hoping the next destination does not involve more mushrooms.